Former Mets Pitcher & Member of the 300 Save Club: Jason Isringhausen (1995-1999 / 2011)

Jason Derik Isringhausen “Izzy” was born September 7, 1972, in Brighton, Illinois. He was drafted by the New York Mets in the 44th round of the 1991 draft.

In the minors he pitched well and by the time he got to the AAA Norfolk Tides he was the Pitcher of the Year in the International League going 9-1 with a .155 ERA. He struck out 75 batters in 87 innings and got the label of “the Mets pitcher of the future”.

MLB Career: On July 17th, Izzy made his big-league debut getting a start in a 7-2 win over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. He made went seven innings allowing only two runs and striking out six Cubs but earned no decision. 

On July 30th, in his third career start, he got his first career win as he went eight innings allowing a run in a 2-1 win over Paul Wagner & the Pittsburgh Pirates at Shea.

Generation K
Izzy went 1-2 in his next three starts with an impressive eight shutout innings at Philadelphia on August 9th in a 4-0 Mets win.

Seven Game Win Streak: From August 20th through the end of the season he was 7-0 allowing 13 earned runs in 45 innings lowering his ERA on the season to 2.81. 

In four of his last six starts he went at least seven innings allowing more than two runs just once.

On September 5th, he shut out the Padres for eight innings at San Diego, he struck out just two & walked three earning his fifth win of the year & third straight.

He ended the year at 9-2 with a 2.81 ERA, posting 55 strike outs & 31 walks in 88 innings pitched in 14 starts. The Mets finished second that year but with a sub .500 record at 69-75 under manager Dallas Green.

But there was a new hope with the Mets young talented pitching staff. Along with pitchers Paul Wilson & Bill Pulsipher they were promoted as “Generation K” and supposed to be the Mets future. That never worked out.

1996:  Injuries struck Izzy & set him back, as he suffered a bout with tuberculosis, then had arm trouble, a torn labrum, bone spurs & a pulled a rib cage muscle. 

He got the start in the second game of the season, giving up three runs taking a loss to the St. Louis Cards at home. On April 9th he gave up three runs to the Reds in Cincinnati, but the Mets run support gave him his first win. On April 18th he allowed eight runs (six earned) with a pair of HRs in a 10-6 loss at Pittsburgh. Izzy would give up eight earned runs in a 9-3 loss at Houston two months later. From May 7th to May 29th, he lost five straight decisions. 

Shut Out: On June 9th, he showed signs of his brilliance as he shut out the Florida Marlins at Shea, allowing six hits & striking out a season high ten batters while walking no one. 

But in his next two starts he gave up six runs each time. On June 24th he came back to beat the Rockies 2-1 in an eight inning one performance at Shea. to get to 4-9. 

In July he missed almost two weeks of action on the DL. In his return he went 1-1 that month, pitching eight innings or more twice in four starts. That August the Mets fired Dallas Green & the Bobby Valentine era began.

Injury & Stupidity: In mid-August he went on the DL & missed a month of action. While rehabbing it was said he was playing softball for a strip club team. The organization was not happy.

Izzy only pitched in five games during the final two months of the season going 1-3. His inconsistency continued, as two starts were terrible giving up five or more runs while he allowed two runs or less in the other three.  

On the 1996 season, he went 6-14 with a 4.71 ERA, giving more than five runs in 10 of his 27 starts. He struck out 114 batters walked 73 in 171 innings in 27 starts.

1997: Izzy started out the season at AAA Norfolk. In the 1st inning of a game against the Toledo Mud Hens he gave up a triple & a HR. He went into the dugout and punched a plastic garbage can, breaking his wrist. He was out for the next few months.

On August 27th, he returned to the Mets, getting a start against the San Francisco Giants, where he went five innings giving up five runs on eleven hits. He still earned the win as the Mets scored 15 runs in the game.

On September 1st, he shut out the Blue Jays for six innings, only allowing two hits in a 3-0 Mets shut out. But his next start didn't go so well as he gave up seven earned runs to the Phillies & would do the same two starts later in Atlanta.

In 1997 he went 2-2 in six starts with a 7.58 ERA, striking out 25 walking 22 in 2.2 innings of work.

As his personal injuries continued as he needed elbow surgery and missed all of the 1998 season.

1999: By now the Mets were a much better ball club & a post season contender that win a Wild Card berth & get to the NLCS. 

Izzy began the year at AAA Norfolk & went 3-1 with a 2.29 ERA proving he could still pitch. The Mets gave him a start on May 24th, but he was hit hard for five runs on seven hits over six innings by the Pirates. He returned in early June still being used as a starter. He went 1-1.

By July he was put in the bullpen in a middle relief role. In eight relief appearances he gave up nine runs (five of them in a horrible July 31st outing against the Cubs) in 14.2 innings. He was 1-3 with an ERA of 6.41 when he was sent to the Oakland A’s along with Greg McMichael for Billy Taylor. Billy Taylor would go 0-1 with an ERA over eight in ten games for the 1999 Mets.

Post Mets Career: The next season Oakland made him a closer and it finally came together for him. Izzy saved over 30 games two straight seasons & made the 2000 All Star team. That year he was 6-4 with a 3.78 ERA posting 33 saves in 67 appearances as the A’s won the Western division. 

2000 Post Season: In the ALDS he earned a save in Game #1. 

The following season he was 4-3 with 34 saves (6th in the AL) posting a 2.65 ERA as he got to another post season. 

2001 Post Season: In that year's ALDS he earned two saves.

Cardinals Career: As a free agent in the off season, he signed a big contract with the St. Louis Cardinals where he spent the next seven seasons. 
He saved 30 or more games five times in those seven years, with ERA's below three five times & appearing in 60 or more games three times as one of the NL's elite closers. In St. Louis he went to three post seasons getting to two World Series.

In 2004 he led the NL in saves (47) & games finished (66) as he posted a 2.87 going 4-2 in a career high 74 appearances for the NL Champion
 Cardinals.

2004 Post Season: In the NLDS he finished off two games in the win over the LA Dodgers.

 In the NLCS win over the Astros, he appeared in six of the seven games. He earned the saves in Game #1 & Game #2 in St. Louis. In Game #6 he gave up a walk off HR to Jeff Kent forcing a Game #7.  He closed out the pennant clincher with a perfect 9th inning in the 5-2 win.

2004 World Series: In the World Series loss to the Boston Red Sox he made one appearance finishing off a Game #4 loss.

Trivia: Although a member of the 2006 Cardinals Championship team he did not pitch in the post season due to a hip injury, therefore he did not face his old Mets team in the NLCS. His injury opened the door for Adam Wainright.

Honors:  In 2019 he got elected to the Cardinals Hall of fame along with Scott Rolen.

In 2008 after going 1-5 with 12 saves he was granted free agency & moved on to the Tampa Rays for the 2009 season. He only appeared in nine games before needing Tommy John surgery which ended his season.

In July 2010 he signed a minor league deal with the Cincinnati Reds but did not pitch at the big-league level.

Return to the Mets: In February 2011 he signed a deal back with his old New York Mets ballclub. On April 11th at Citi Field, Izzy made his Mets return after 13 years pitching the 7th inning against the Colorado Rockies. 

Manager Terry Collins used him as a setup man to Francisco Rodriguez. In 19 appearances through May 27th, he allowed four earned runs in 16 innings & was credited with 11 straight holds before blowing a save.

On June 2nd, Izzy earned his first win of the season & his first Mets win in 13 years as he pitched a scoreless 8th inning against the Pirates. A bases loaded walk to Carlos Beltran in the 8th was the difference. 

By mid-July the Mets parted ways with their closer Frankie Rodriquez after his stupidity & dramas disgraced his career.  Izzy inherited the closers' role at 38 years old.


On July 19th he earned his first save, coming against his old Cardinals teammates. He saved five games & earned a victory in the final two weeks of the month. 

On August 1st, he then took an extra inning loss to the Marlins & then blew another game the next night to fall to 2-2. On August 9th he earning his 299th career save coming against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field.

300th Save: On August 15th, at San Diego's Petco Park, Izzy he earned his 300th career save becoming the 22nd MLB pitcher to enter the 300 save club. It would be the last save of his career as well.

He finished the year at 3-2 with six saves & a 4.05 ERA striking out 44 walking 24 in 53 appearances.

Post Mets Career: In 2012 he was granted free agency & signed with the L.A. Angels. There he had a good first half, going 3-0 with four holds & a 2.83 ERA through July. 

In August he blew a save & took two other loses, then didn't see much time in September. He made fifty appearances posting a 4.14 ERA going 3-2 for the year.

Izzy was granted free agency at the end of the year. Although there were no takers in resigning him, he denied retiring until a few years later.

Career Stats: In his 16-year career Izzy made two All Star teams, appeared in 724 games going 51-55 with 300 saves (30th all time) He finished up 499 career games (45th most all time). He struck out 830 batters & walked 437 in 1007 innings.

Retirement: After his pitching days, Izzy became a coach at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.

Family: Jason married to his wife Lorrie in 1999, they have two children & live in Edwardsville, Il. 

Madolyn Isringhausen: Their daughter Madolyn was a top volleyball player in Illinois high school & then moved on to the volleyball team at Tennessee Tech University.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I'm glad to see he got #300 in a Mets uniform, where he started out.

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